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Program description


Geology is the study of the origin, history and structure of the earth. Our undergraduate offerings encompass virtually every aspect of the science, with emphasis on current theory, methods and applications. The philosophy of the department is to provide sound training in both theory and field observation, and to couple this background with a thorough education in modern laboratory, quantitative and field techniques required for an understanding of geologic processes.

The setting of the university in the Rocky Mountains is ideal because some of North America's most outstanding geologic features are within a short drive of campus. The semi-arid climate in Wyoming has resulted in excellent exposures of diverse rock types ranging in age from Precambrian to Recent. Deformation of the rocks in the region has been extensive, affording the student a field laboratory that exhibits a wide diversity of styles of faulting and folding. Mineral deposits, petroleum resources and coal abound in the region.

Admission requirements

Program Specific Degree Requirements

Plan A (thesis) (26 hours of coursework and 4 hours of thesis)

Preliminary and initial advising shall take place upon acceptance to the graduate program to identify background deficiencies and develop a list of required deficiency coursework to be taken. Deficiency coursework must be completed with a grade of B or better early in the student's graduate residence.

GEOL 5020 Fundamentals of Research is required of ALL graduate students during the first semester of residence.

All graduate students in geophysics must complete two semesters of GEOL 5210. Distinguished Lecture Series in the first two semesters of residence plus Rocky Mountain Field Trip.

All M.S. students in the Department of Geology and Geophysics will be required to complete a qualifying exam by the end of the second term in residence. Specific department examination requirements are available from the department office. Failure of this exam may result in dismissal from the graduate program.

The candidate's committee shall evaluate the thesis and conduct the final examination. The final exam is an oral presentation of the thesis, oral defense of thesis, and oral responses to questions relating to ancillary topics. Failure of this exam can result in dismissal. Retaking of the exam is subject to the discretion of the candidate's graduate committee. Exams will not be scheduled during the summer months.

M.S. candidates in geophysics must complete 6 hours of mathematics and three hours of physics or engineering courses at the graduate level.

M.S. candidates must take at least 12 hours of 4000- and 5000-level courses in geophysics. Recommended graduate level mathematics courses include differential equations, numerical analysis, and real and complex variables; in physics and engineering they include classical mechanics, continuum mechanics, elasticity, electricity and magnetism. Substitutions for graduate-level geophysics courses may be made with the permission of the candidate's adviser. Remaining graduate-level course requirements may be made up from courses in physics

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Program content

  • Earth Science and Society
  • Earth History
  • The Earth: Its Physical Environment
  • Physical Geology
  • Physical Geology for Engineers
  • Water, Dirt, and Earth's Environment
  • Global Sustainability: Managing Earth's Resources
  • The Water-Energy-Climate Nexus
  • Geochemical Cycles and the Earth System
  • Mineralogy
  • Introduction to Petrology
  • Principles of Paleontology
  • Introduction to Oceanography
  • General Field Geology
  • Stratigraphy and Sedimentation
  • Geomorphology
  • Communicating Earth Science
  • Principles of Geophysics
  • Introduction to Groundwater
  • Invertebrate Paleontology
  • Geosciences and Computers
  • Geologic Hazards: A Historical and Scientific Review
  • Global Change: A Geological Perspective
  • Earth and Mineral Resources
  • Energy for Society: Addressing the Energy Grand Challenge
  • Paleomagnetism in Geology/Geophysics
  • Modeling the Earth System
  • Petroleum Exploration and Production
  • Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
  • Groundwater Flow and Solute Transport Modeling
  • Geology of Wyoming
  • Rocky Mountain Field Trip
  • Geological Remote Sensing
  • Igneous Petrology
  • Metamorphic Petrology
  • Paleontology of Lower Vertebrates
  • Paleontology of Cenozoic Placental Mammals
  • Petroleum Geology
  • Methods in Petroleum Geology
  • Topics in Geology
  • Topics in Geophysics
  • Hydrogeophysics
  • Paleobotany
  • Advanced Stratigraphy
  • Cenozoic Stratigraphy
  • Sedimentary Rocks
  • High-Performance Computing for Scientists and Engineers
  • Geohydrology
  • Planetary Geology
  • Introduction to Geomodeling
  • Geochemistry
  • Environmental Data Analysis
  • Structural Geology and Tectonics
  • Plate Tectonics
  • Field Course in Geology
  • Ore Deposits
  • Rates and Timescales of Surface Processes
  • Geochemistry of Natural Waters
  • Capstone
  • Applied/Exploration Geophysics
  • Principles of Digital Filtering and Time Series Analysis
  • Earth Surface Processes
  • Glaciology
  • Fundamentals of Research
  • Introduction to Isotope Geology
  • Tectonic Evolution of the North American Cordillera
  • Regional Tectonics
  • Reflection Seismology
  • Seminar in Structural Geology and Tectonics
  • Sedimentary Seminar
  • Inverse Theory
  • Global Seismology
  • Geodynamics
  • Vertebrate Morphology and Evolution
  • Vertebrate Paleobiogeography

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About this institute

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University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming is located in the safe and inviting college town of Laramie, Wyoming. Laramie is a community located about two hours north of the large, metropolitan city of Denver, Colorado. Laramie is nestled in a valley at...

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Contact info

University of Wyoming

1000E University Avenue
82071 Laramie

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